Monday, December 17, 2018

My First Love Story

Manushi Chhillar
"Wow, She Is Beautiful," Karthik exclaimed, admiring the picture of Manushi Chhillar, the winner of Miss World 2017.

As I watched Karthik gaze at the photo of Manushi Chhillar, I couldn't help but feel a tinge of jealousy. I wanted him to see me as the most beautiful person in the world. It was a feeling I'd never experienced before, and I found myself instinctively sucking my thumb, a habit I had whenever I was emotional.

But as I thought about our love story, I was reminded of the wonderful times we had spent together. We fell in love before we even met, sharing intimate moments on night walks, laughing, and enjoying each other's company. I wondered if my nagging had pushed him away or if his new responsibilities had made him forget how beautiful I was.

Suddenly, a scream broke through my thoughts, and I was jolted back to reality.

Had I hit someone?

Karthik rushed to help the woman who had been hit, and I watched in horror as she was rushed to the hospital. For the next few hours, I was surrounded by the chaos of the medical team trying to save her. I felt anxious, praying that she would be okay.

The doctors struggled for hours, and I could hear the woman's screams of pain. I wanted to help her in any way I could, even if it meant sacrificing my own life. With all my strength, I pushed myself out and into the doctor's hands.

The doctor placed me on the woman's chest, and I cried for the first time. I held her hand, and she squeezed mine with what little strength she had left. Her smile gave me hope, and I knew she was determined to get better.

The next moment, I was transferred to Karthik's arms, and I felt his touch for the first time. I looked into his eyes, and I knew he had fallen in love with me. It was a magical moment, and I could see the tears in his eyes.

"My life is complete now," my dad whispered into the woman's ear.

Karthik touched my face and said, "Wow, my child! You look so beautiful, just like your mom."


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Chasing Waterfalls: A Memorable Road Trip to Jog Falls

Last week, I was left feeling disappointed when my plans to visit Jog Falls fell through. However, as they say, when you truly desire something and your intentions are pure, the universe conspires to make it happen. And true to those words, the following week, I was invited by GB to join them on a trip to Jog Falls. Who wouldn't jump at the opportunity to explore the second-highest waterfall in India? Known by multiple names like Gerosappa Falls or the Joga Falls, Jog Falls is an absolute must-visit destination.

We set out for Jog Falls at 7:00 AM from Bangalore in a Renault KWID. Unfortunately, GB slept in and we ended up leaving a little later than planned. After stopping at Kamat Upachar, Yedehalli for breakfast, we resumed our journey. Despite the restaurant's reputation, the food was not up to par, but we didn't have any other options at that time. The cleanliness of the place was also below average, and even the Pongal didn't taste good. However, the washrooms were clean, which was a relief.

During our journey, we were greeted by the breathtaking view of Chitradurga windmills. The sight of the hills was truly awe-inspiring. As we entered Chitradurga, the fort walls on both sides of the road welcomed us as a symbolic representation of the fort. We made a quick stop at Hirekerur bus stand and Shirakoppa bus stand before continuing on our journey.

Keladi Rameshwara Temple
In the evening, we arrived at Keladi Rameshwara Temple. We took the time to talk to the priests to learn more about the temple's history, legendary stories, and the kings associated with it. Interestingly, the entrance of the temple building did not look like a typical temple. Instead, it looked like an old-fashioned Mangalore-style tiled roof gateway. It was a unique and intriguing sight to behold.
Parking Space  : Yes. 
Drinking Water : No
Restrooms : No

Restaurants And Hotels :No

Ikkeri Aghoreshwara Temple:
Don’t rely on google map for the location , since it was guiding the  wrong location.

Duration of visit     : 30 Minutes
Timings                  : 9 AM to 5PM
Entry Fee               : No
Parking Space  : Yes. Ample
Drinking Water : No
Restrooms : Yes. But closed. 
Restaurants And Hotels :Nothing 

Reached home stay around 6.30. The home stay was the best.

Day 2:
8.20 AM:
Jog falls:
After spending some time at Jog Bridge, We reached Jog Falls view-point where all the four falls (Raja, Roarer, Rocket, Rani) can be seen from a distance. There are some interesting reasons behind the names of Raja, Roarer, Rocket, Rani. Raja falls, pours from  850 feet, since its magnificent among all the other 3 falls, it takes the pride of king. Next to Raja is Roarer, as it makes huge sound. If you observe closely you can see that water is coming from the middle of nowhere! The middle one resembles like a rocket, domed shape/conical shape at the bottom. And finally, the Rani Falls, which is mild and silent.

Toilet and bathing facilities are available and its quite clean. Napkins as well as hot cold bath facilities along with locker facility is available.

There is a Hotel Mayura Gerusoppa Jogfalls opposite to water falls. You can book your stay here, since you get good water falls view. Don’t forget to book in advance. Hotel Mayura restaurant is available here but only Idly vada and Rice bath is available for morning. Hdfc atm is available near falls. Dont replay since its always closed.

Taking 1400 steps would take to the base of the falls, but during monsoon its restricted and the gate was closed. It was misty hence we could not see the jog falls clearly. We were patience by orderning maggi, Bread omlet to get you the awesome and full view of Jog Falls.

Dont just stick around the view point. Take a stroll around the view point, to see the beautiful valley all around. The view of hydroelectric power station is mesmerizing,where you can see River Sharavati valley.

Timings                  : Open All Hours
Parking Space  : Yes. Ample. But crowd will be equal. 
Drinking Water : No
Restrooms : Yes. Neat and Clean
Restaurants And Hotels :Yes. 

11.45 AM:
After spending 4 hours, we drove another 2.4 kilometers from the Jog bridge to a place called Hotel Prakruthi Yatri Nivas lodge. From here one can get view of Rani falls cliff. After spending 10 minutes, we drove another 2 kilometers to a place called Jog management authority/British Bungalow Where Raja, Roarer and the Rocket top can be seen.

From here below are the near by places.
  1. Must try pineapple. They are extremely tasty here. Choose the once that has orange color layer. One full pineapple can be brought for 40 rupees
  2. You can actually plan a solo trip for one day. 
How to Reach Jog Falls by Train:
You have direct train to SAGAR JAMBAGARU – SRF from Bangalore. Its just an overnight journey. From Sagar Bus stand, the jog falls is just 30 km away and you have direct Bus to Jog Falls. You can also hire car/taxi from Sagar. Cab charge about 300 rupees to falls. Once you reach Jog falls, You can walk to the near by places. Talagapu railway station is the nearest railway station. From there also you can hire a cab to Jog Falls.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Discovering the Natural Wonder of Shivanasamudra Waterfalls

The beauty of waterfalls magnificently proliferates when there is either a heavy rainfall or release of water from a dam. If both happens simultaneously? The beauty is far beyond imagination right? Since the water has been released from KRS Dam and Kabini reservoir, the Shivanasamudra falls would be a glorious treat for eyes now. As per the plan, we all gathered at 5:00 AM at Banashankari. We were people of 5 and took Baleno and choose Kanakapura road.

The drive to Shivanasamudra is scenic with lot of old bridge alongside. Since its flooded at few places, the water was in full swing. Throughout the way we were shocked to see the sheer force of the Kaveri. This sight cannot be seen in the near future, because the discharge of water is enormously huge due to the excess rainfall during this monsoon season. Close to 1,20,000 cusecs of water has been released from KRS dam.

Shivanasamudra waterfalls
What's so special about Shivanasamudra waterfalls? The Kaveri river splits into two and falls into a valley in two separate places namely Gaganachukki and Bharachukki. There is no separate waterfalls called "Shivanasaumdra falls", together these Gaganchukki and Barachukki falls are called known as Shivanasaumdra falls, since it lies in the town "Shivanasaumdra". The "Shimsha" Hydroelectric plant is situated here and this was the first and oldest Hydro-electric power plant. 

We reached Shivasamudram by 8.30 AM. The gate was supposed to be open only at 9:00 AM, hence we waited for 30 minutes. 

Distance                  : 3 Hours (132 kms from Banashankari Bus station.) 
Duration of visit    : 30 Minutes
Timings                   : 9 AM to 5PM
Entry Fee                : 20 per vehicle. No Tickets were provided by the forest officer. 

After paying the forest officer, we drove for 1 kms to reach Bharachukki Falls View Point. There is no walking/trekking required. Get down from car, take 1 minute walk the water falls is in front of you. Taking 100 odd steps will take you to the bottom of the waterfalls. But due to heavy water-flow, the path and the Coracle ride has been blocked. 

Parking Space  : Yes. Ample
Drinking Water : No
Restrooms : Yes. Not clean and no waters. 
Restaurants And Hotels :Lot of snacks shops at the top.

Gaganchukki Waterfalls:
After driving 2 kms (5 mins) we reached Hazrath Syedina Bibi Fathima Batul Dargah. The Gaganchukki Waterfalls view from Dargah is good, but the Dargah is not clean. We found a huge crowd on the other side, and realized the Gaganchukki water falls can be viewed from that point as well. Another 10 kms drive would take to that view point, but we decided to start as that view point was heavily crowded.

On the way we had a stopover and enjoyed the panoramic view of the huge lake with heavy whirlpools. I personally felt, we had a good time in this place. We played with banyan tree prop roots and took lot of boomerang pictures. we plugged few tamarind from Tamarind tree. It suddenly remembered my childhood...!

Prasanna Meenakshi temple
While returning, we visited Prasanna Meenakshi temple near Shivanasamudra. There is 2 lord inside the temple. The Lord Prasanna Meenakshi and lord Someshwara.
In the temple, we met the priest who kept telling stories that, he has traveled with Modi in helicopter and the Swachh Bharat Mission idea was suggested by him to Modi. Kumaraswamy become CM since he did pooja with him. So, guys, if you have any plans to become CM, PM, president you can do a pooja with this priest, in another 24 hours, you will be whatever you want to. 

You can request the priest to show the Sri Chakra which is the specialty of Prasanna Meenakshi temple. The Sri Chakra is considered very auspicious.

Parking Space  : Yes. 
Drinking Water : No
Restrooms : No
Restaurants And Hotels :No. Laddu is available at temple. 

After that we decided to visit MM Hills.

Male Mahadeshwara Temple or M M Hills: 
Male Pronunced as Malai has to be reached by driving few hair pin bends ascending and descending. After taking 27 hair pin bends, we reached the Male Madaheswara Temple. The roads are not that good. Since there are lot of hair pin bends, ensure only if you are an experienced driver. The temple is in a Serene place and it has very spacious campus.

Parking Space  : Yes. Ample. 
Drinking Water : No
Restrooms : Yes 
Restaurants And Hotels : Yes. Laddu is available at temple. 

Anna Santarpane/Annadhanam is performed daily at the temple Dining Hall. The devotees can have a quality food served in leafs. (Timings 12.30 PM to 3:00 PM). Click here to check the AnnaDhanam timings. 

Around 3.30 PM, we departed to Talakadu to visit the temples in Talakadu. There are close to 30 temples and Some of the temples are buried under sand. I was curious to visit the place. But we could not visit the place, since the Cauvery-Talakad Bridge was submerged in overflowing Cauvery river. We saw the police jeep crossing the bridge by risking their life. When Venkatesh went to click pictures with his DLSR, people were curious and asked whether he is from press. Hah! what a proud moment he had! 

While returning we decide to visit Somanathapura to see the famous  800 year old Chennakesava Temple build by Hoyasala kings. I think this is the same ditto of Belur temple. By the time we reached, the temple was closed. We glued to the gates and requested the gate keeper to let us in, but since CCTV was installed he didn’t let us in. 

Finally, we decide to return to Bangalore. We took the Maddur road. After reaching home, I realized that Shivasamundram Falls is the second largest waterfall in India(first one being the Kunchikal Falls, Karnataka) and the sixteen largest in the world, 

  • Start Early to avoid traffic. That's the Mantra. The drive to Male Mahadeshwara Hills is tiring and roads are not good. Hence, I would suggest:
9AM Reach Shivanasamudra ->Barachukki Waterfalls -> Gaganchukki Waterfalls -> Talakad -> Somanathapur Temple.

Note the Somanathapur gets closed sharp by 5:00 PM. so plan accordingly. The above route can be easily driven by car/bike. The route has no Hairpin or uphill driving. 
  • Carry Breakfast, Lunch & lots of water. Food's are not that great. 
  • Everywhere the sign boards are written in kannada only. So, rely on google maps/the local people, if you cant read kannada. 
  • The best time to visit Shivanasamudra waterfalls is during the monsoon season that is from June to September as there will be more water due to rain and also when water is released from KRS or kabani dam.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Roaming Beyond Borders: My Ultimate Travel Bucket List

As a travel enthusiast, you may have noticed my passion for exploring new destinations if you've been following me for some time.

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.

As the saying goes, it's only when we lose ourselves that we truly find ourselves. I've been fortunate enough to visit numerous places over the years, although I've forgotten the specifics of many of them.

Here are some of the places from my travel list 

  1.  Trek to Shivagange on May 5th 2013
  2. Dudh Sagar Rail trek on 21st & 22nd Sep'13 with Bangalore Trekking club
  3. World of Women - Trek to Savandurga - 19th Oct'2013  (Women only Trek)
  4. Trek to Narasimha Parvtha near Agumbe on 26th & 27th Oct'2013 with Bangalore ASCENDers(BASC)
  5. Biking to Horsley Hills - 10th Nov'13 with Bangalore Trekking Club
  6. Chitradurga Exploration & Trek: 21st & 22nd Dec'13
  7. Kumta To Gokarna Beach Trek: 1 & 2 March, 2014 Organized by me :) 
  8. Night Trek to Skandagiri: 10th-May, 2014
  9. Horsley Hills Biking: 18th May 2014
  10. Makalidurga Trekking With Bangalore Hikers   on  31st Dec, 2014 (New Year 2015 Event Celebration)
  11. North India Family Trip - Golden Triangle Trip Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Amritsar(Punjab) on 05 Jul 2016 to 11 Jul 2016 
  12. Bandaje-Arbi and Ballalarayana durga trek 25 November 2016 - 28 November 2016
  13. Tiruvanamalai Solo Trip for Girivalam on January 11th 2017. 
  14. Pondicherry Women only Friend's Trip on February 8th to February 10th 2018
  15. Andaman Family trip on May 26th to May 30th 2017
  16. Kumta To Gokarna Beach Trek : 7th & 8th Oct, 2017
  17. Kerala - Mankulam (Analulam) - Family Trip on May 12th 2018. 
  18. Chickmagalur and Sakleshpur on June 15th to June 17th 2018 (3 Days) (Family Trip)
  19. Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta and Pyramid Valley International on July 1st 2018
  20. Monsoon trek to Tadiandamol : 7th and 8th July 2018
  21. Dudhsagar Monsoon Hiking : 28-29 July 2018
  22. Independence day trip to Shivanasamudra Waterfalls (Barachukki, Gaganchukki, Male Mahadeshwara Temple or M M Hills) on Aug 15th. 
  23. Jog Falls - Enroute Ikkeri Aghoreshwara Temple and Keladi Rameshwara Temple.  on August 25th and 26th. 
  24. Coutrallam - Family Trip on September 1st 2018
  • 2023
  1. Kerala - Coco palm beach resort Thalikulam - Family Trip on April 1st and 2nd
  2. Kaigal Falls: A Natural Wonder Just a Stone's Throw Away from Bangalore
  3. Biking Trip to towards Chennai Highways 
  4. Wayanad and Coorg April 30th to May 1st (5 day)
  5. Go Karna Beach Trekking : May 26th to May 29th ( 2 days)

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Adventures Dudhsagar Trekking – A Spectacularly Beautiful Waterfall!

Adventures Dudhsagar Trekking  – A Spectacularly Beautiful Waterfall!

Why do trekkers find the Dudhsagar A Paradise? Before we discern the answer, let’s get into the Adventures Dudhsagar journey. 

Dudhsagar : The vibrant milky gush of water cascading down the mountains amidst the lush breathtaking misty greenery always push the adrenaline to pack the bags for the trip. Those beautiful trails and its nature will never make me tried even if I visit zillionth time. Its beauty and experience is ineffable. Its divine cannot be fully expressed in this article. That's the reason, when Bangalore Hikers launched the event even before 90 days, I registered.

As usual, we boarded the train at KR Puram/Yeswanthpur, followed by our introduction and few rounds of games we went to sleep. After the incident that took place in Dudhsagar on 22nd July, there was a strict restriction to enter Kulem wildlife sanctuary. We were finger's crossed whether we would be visiting Dudhsagar falls.

Since we don’t know the situation in Dudhsagar, we decided to visit Tambdi Surla Waterfalls first. Hot Breakfast was waiting for us in the Castle Rock Station. But who wants to have breakfast, when we were ready to sniff the beauty of scented misty Dudhsagar in a while?

We took 3 jeeps from Kulem Railway station and started our journey towards the Thambi Surla Waterfalls. We crossed several mini streams to reach the actual waterfalls which was inside the Jungle. The gushing sound of waterfalls welcomed us and after descending few steps we were in front of the Thambi Surla. It is a sensational feeling. After taking a dip in the chilly cold clear water and enjoying Thambi Surla drizzle on the face for a while, we started back. Myself, Mittal and Kishan Kumar were heading extremely fast by relishing the snacks as well as clicking lot of photos. There was a 15th century Mahadev Temple/Tambdi Surla Temple at the base. Both the places, the temple and the waterfalls are worth visiting. We rushed to Kulem railway station to catch the train to Castle rock.

While returning to castle rock by train, we were taken back by the beauty of whole valley filled with mist. The panoramas around the Dudhsgar is a treat to the eyes. The whole journey was worth watching. After reaching homestay, we played “Connect” game for a while. Can’t forgot when Milana & Swathi gave a clue “A word rhyming with duck”. We went back to sleep with a mystery of tomorrows exploration.

Sunday July 29th: 
The real adventure started on Sunday. As per our plan we should take the train to Dudhsagar at 3:10 AM and get down at Dudhsagar waterfalls and visit the Magnificent Dudhsagar waterfalls. Head towards Kulem and take the train back to Castle rock. We never had a Plan B. 

We got up at 2 am and reached castle rock railway station. Indian Railways are known for delay and as usual the train delayed by 1 hour. We were getting warning from Goa State Police force not to get down at Dudhsagar station. Finally, the train came and we got into train and like a baby waiting for its mother, we were waiting for Dudhsagar station. When the train halted at Caranzol railway station few people from other batch got down. The train had a technical halt at Dudhsagar Railway station and We just had 30 seconds to get down at Dudhsagar Railway station. Since it was unreserved compartment, we had to act pretty fast. 17 people had to get down from both the sides of the door in just 30 seconds, which was impossible. Moreover, like lizards glued to walls, localities were glued to the door and we were confused how to get down. But in a fraction of second everyone from our group jumped out of the door just to see police whistling at us.

"Get in", Lohith commanded on seeing the police.
The train started, but with no second thought I got into train, like the lion obeying at its ring-master's command and I was the only one who got into train.
"Oh Shit" My dream of solo trekking came true. But with no wallet, no train ticket, no mobile and no luggage and absolutely nothing in my hand, how am I going to go back or reach Castle rock? Should I get down at Sonalium station and walk back to Dudhsagar all alone!? With strict police check this idea seems to be scary.  Its then I saw Satish, Suresh BK inside the compartment and my blood resumed to pump blood to the heart. Along with us Vishal Parab and Vijay was also there. We immediately started to plan our next action, though our gang split into two now.  We decided to get down at Sonalium no matter the situation.


We got down at Sonalium and started walking fast. We observed 200 trekkers getting down at Sonalium. I remembered Lohit words, "There will be 200 people from Pune tomorrow". This gave us some more courage. To our surprise we saw Kavya Shree and Santhosh also getting down from other compartment. She was anxious as her Hubby, Kanna Mohan left her at Dudhsagar station. (I guess its intentional :P).We were concerned about other group as their train ticket was with us.

We were so lucky to get the full view of Dudhsgar and spent some time. My group was taking picture, hence I decided to trek towards Dudhsgar leaving my group behind. When I walked almost few miles, I saw 2 police coming towards me. The police has caught 2 trekkers. As soon as I saw them, I started running like Hussian bolt in the opposite direction and mingled with the crowd. The crowd requested Police for Dudhsagar visit but they declined our request. We reached Sonalium  station by trekking on the Railway track.

Our group was the only group who had at least the chance to see the full view of Dudhsgar. we could see disappointed face in the crowd. We got train back to castle rock and were looking for our gang throughout the way.  We were expecting them in Caranzol railway station and as soon as we saw them we pulled them inside our compartment. Finally, our gang joined together. Can you guess the punishment this group received from Goa police? They were asked to trek back to Castle rock from Dudhsagar station. Hahaha, So sweet of Goa Police.

After having breakfast, we took a jeep to visit one waterfall. I don’t even remember visiting this waterfall last year. But the beauty of this waterfall is completely different now. Nature always offers us different beautiful views in different seasons. Finally after exploring haunted house and Castle rock we reached castle railway station.

While waiting for train, we had a mimicry version from Mohan, Santhosh and Lohit on how people reacted to Leeches and Lizard during this trekking.

Video Courtesy - Sathish M

Why do trekkers find the Dudhsagar A Paradise?

If someone know the answer please tell me :) 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Trekking tips during monsoon - Preparation and Packing

Monsoon trek to Tadiandamol
Pic Courtesy  : Satish M - Event organizer, Bangalore Hikers
For Trekking freaks, Monsoon hikes will pump up the adrenaline. Exploring nature with a splash of rain is a paradise. If not planned properly then trekking during the monsoon would be a big mess. Muddy and slippery Trails, wet clothes, those sucking leeches should not hold you from exploring during monsoon. Monsoon hikes are the best and those memories will stay with you for a lifetime, when necessary measures and preparation is done.

Mandatory Things:
  1. Raincoat/Poncho
  2. Jacket/sweater 
  3. Plastic covers
  4. Hiking Slippers with a grip sole and good holding.
  5. For 2 day trekking, carry 3 pair of socks (Prefer thick socks to avoid leech bite). An additional pair of Woolen socks is always mandatory to protect your feet and keep you warm at night. 

Rain-Coat & Jacket:
Most of the rain coats are not sufficient to keep you and your clothes dry. During monsoon, all you can expect is heavy rainfall and heavy wind. So buying a light fabric will not withstand rain and wind. Always remember, you are not buying a raincoat to wear it for a while or to go out to buy something. Hence, while purchasing a raincoat Keep in mind, that you might face unpleasant weather, heavy rainfall and this rain coat is going to be your best friend from the start of the hike and until you reached the summit. There is a difference between Waterproof vs. water-resistant. Hence while purchasing look for a thick layer and durability.

Once you get wet, a thick jacket/sweater will help you from the cold in the night. Hence always carry both Rain coat and Jacket.

One more thing, Dont be over smart and carry an Umbrella’s while hiking. I saw few people carrying Umbrella during our trek. That's the most dangerous thing. While hiking hands should be always free, this will save you from a slip during the slippery trails.

Good bye to Cotton clothes:
Always ensure you pack only Nylon or spandex or Polystor clothes which has good properties of quick drying. Cotton absorbs water quickly and takes time to dry.
Packing: While packing, ensure to pack each clothes separately in a plastic bag or waterproof bag. This will protect clothes from water, even when your bag is soaked in water completely as well as keep the moisture out. Always carry a big plastic cover to carry and store dirty shoes.

Shoes or hiking Sandals ? 
Both has advantages and disadvantages and its more about your personal comfort. In case of shoes, though the shoe company claims waterproof shoes, your feet get wet when it rains and weight little heavy.

On the other side slippers dry quickly and breathe easily. But it lacks protection. Sandals are borne to cause injury when you hit broken branches and rocks. I personally feel comfort with sandals and I take much caution during the trail.

If you are going to be a frequent traveler, then I would suggest you to customize your glasses with anti-fog coating and water-resistant lenses. Myself as well as my co-trekkers struggled a lot as the water droplets were fogging up and the vision was not clear during our hikes. Personally, I dont suggest contact lens because when water get into eyes, the lens stick to the eye and might be uncomfortable.

Water Proof Pouch:
Buy a waterproof bag to carry your money, credit card, key and other small thing. For electronic items, buy a waterproof Mobile pouch that has a Sensitive touch. This will allow you to access touch screen functions without taking out the mobile phone. This way you can still have fun by taking pictures and videos.

Sorry to say, there is no better way to avoid leeches. People and google might say Leech Socks, salt, Odomos(the cream get washed off easily), tobacco leaves would help to get rid of it. But trust me you can’t escape from leeches sucking the blood.

The best way to safeguard yourself is to wait for the leeches to get its stomach full and to drop off by itself. This will help you to safe yourself from infection in the long run. Pulling off by hand might result in its tooth getting stuck and will result in itching/infection.

When you apply salt onto the leech, it’s going to further spread its infection. Leech socks could be dangerous in some way, since the leeches leave the socks area and climb higher, higher and higher (Usssh… Stop the imagination please)!

On a health note, It is said that the leeches suck out the toxins from Blood. The best part you don’t feel the bite or pain, since it insert an anesthetics into your blood. After sucking out the blood they insert another anti-coagulant to stop your blood from clotting. So sweet of them right? 

You can use Fucibet Cream(Price 15g :55.60) or Wild Ideas- Healing cream (available online) to stop from Leech itching and infections. Fucibet Cream  cab be purchased in all medical stores.

Taking care of above things will make your hiking a pleasant one! You might be cursing yourself, why the hell am I doing this monsoon hike instead of sleeping at home. But trust me at the end of the journey you will definitely have memories to cherish and share with everyone.

What Best practice would you do or any tips that you would like to share, please share in comments session. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta or BR Hills

Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta or BR Hills

In life, we meet a desirable person one day and they make us happy and feel beautiful eternally. And our inner voice say, "They are our life-partner and soul-mate."
What's next? Tie Knot, have kids.

The ultimate goal of life is achieved. Happy Ending.

Let go of the illusion for a time being.!!!

Your life will be amazed when you surround yourself with a set of positive friends. Those kind of people can be your friends for life-long. When you find someone with good vibes, start to build a foundation of trust and care. It results into a beautiful and bright garden.

My one day trip to Bilikal Rangaswamy, A normal journey which turned to be a memorable trip and its in this trip I released we always need to surround with people who can lift you up.

Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta, also known as Rangaswamy Betta or Bilikal Betta is just 70 km from Bangalore and a perfect place for a one-day weekend trip. The way from Bilikal Betta base is around 4 kms.

All of us have a wish to explore furtive sounding places that we wish we could visit every weekend. After seeing the name, I had to agree for a trip, because I am hearing the place for the first time and I always taught that I should visit those unfamiliar places.

Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta is a place for great morning rides and Beautiful scenery all along the way. I closed my eyes making myself get lost in the sounds of revving engine and the wind. I found myself more relaxed when I go for a nature trip, This travel made me to feel that the world is full of fun, inviting and inspirational. From its top we had a beautiful view of the city.

So, what is keeping you away from experiencing the universe blessing? limited funds? No time? No Friends? Stop giving excuse. step out of the comfort zone, wake each morning with an inspiration and fire in hear.

We believe that once we find our soulmate, our life will be beautiful. This trip made me to realize one must fall in love with our own soul first, rather than finding outside.

There was something intersting happened this day. This is the day, I rode Royal Enfield bike.
"Ride a bike? No chance" I told initially.  But, I made my mind strong and learnt the ride. I felt happy like a little school girl learning bicycle for the first time. Its all about in our mind. Train the mind like a pro to do good things.

  1. Forest guards/local people might stop you from entering and might demand to pay few bucks. Initially they asked us 500 rupees, but my friend spoke in Kannada and didn't get even a penny. 
  2. Get lot of snacks and water bottles. There is nothing available at top. 
Parking Space  : Yes. Ample
Drinking Water : No
Restrooms : No
Restaurants And Hotels :No. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

3 Day Trip plan from Bangalore to Chikmagalur and Sakleshpur

3 Day itinerary to Chikmagalur and Sakleshpur

Bored of Forest and Beaches, I decided to explore the lofty peaks of Chikmagalur the ‘Coffee Land’.  Here is the list of attractions in Sakleshpur and Chikmagalur. Hope this article will allow you to Plan an amazing trip to Chikmagalur and Sakleshpur.

Below was my travel plan during June 2018. 

Day 1 : Travel from Bangalore to Sakleshpur and Belur. 

Start from Bangalore around 4 AM. This will help you to reach Sakleshpur early. On the way you can have breakfast.
1. Manjarabad Fort
Distance                  : 225 (From Bangalore)
Duration of visit     : 1 Hour
Timings                   : 8AM to 5PM
Entry Fee                : No Entry fee

About the Place:
A Fort built by Tipu Sultan. The climb to Manjarabad Fort can be be done by walking on a muddy road for about 500 meters and then 250 steps to reach the fort. But those off-road trail gives a fascinating spectacular amazing views. This place is good for photography. When we went there, we were lucky to experience the fort with drizzle, mist and a rain. Clouds and fog always fondle this fort :)
Note: The gate close by 5:00 PM Sharp.
  • Parking Space  : Yes. On Road. 
  • Drinking Water : No
  • Restrooms : No 
  • Restaurants And Hotels : No Shops at the top.

After exploring Manjarabad Fort, Reach Belur and check-in to Hotel. The hotels in Belur are good. Even an amazing 3 start hotels can be booked at the cost of Rs.1000. Hence, I suggest you to book any hotels near Belur. Contact me for the Hotel Name. 

After freshen-up, get ready to explore the beautiful Hoysala architecture.

2. Kalyani Tank, Hulikere 

Distance                  : 20 KMS (From Belur)
Duration of visit     : 15 Minutes.
Timings                   : 8AM to 5PM
Entry Fee                : No Entry fee
Kalyani Tank/Hulikere Tank
Kalyani Tank or Hulikere Tank, -  I was fortunate for finding this fascinating place. This pond has twenty-seven super structure miniature shrines dedicated to twenty seven nakshtras. Dont miss this place. This gives a unique Mesmerizing experience.

If you face difficulty in finding this place, the villagers are kind enough to help in finding the place.

  • Parking Space  : No. Have to park on Road. 
  • Drinking Water : No
  • Restrooms : No 
  • Restaurants And Hotels : No Shops near by. 
3. Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu. 

Distance                  : 3 Kms (From Hulikere Tank)
Duration of visit     : 1 Hour (If you love architecture, then 2 hours)
Timings                   : 8AM to 5PM
Entry Fee                : No Entry fee.

Like Gangaikonda Cholapuram for Chola's the Hoysaleswara Temple is for the Hoysala kings. This temple is an architectural wealth of Hoysaleswara Temple, their styles are awe-inspiring. This is one of the largest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in South India and was build with Soap stone.

The temple building activity was taken up in competition to Chennakesava temple at Belur, a Vaishnavite temple. The Sculpture here narrates Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata Purana. It has 240 Unique Images. (Like Ganesha dancing).
Star Shaped – Reason “the moon and sun have eclipses but the stars shine continuously”.

Ensure to Visit Halebidu Archaelogical Site which is in Temple. The Halebidu Archaelogical Site closes by 5:00 PM.

You can take a guide, But the youtube videos explain's everything.

  • Parking Space  : Yes. 
  • Drinking Water : No
  • Restrooms : Yes (Paid)
  • Restaurants And Hotels : Yes. 
If you cover all the above 3 places by 5.30, plan to visit Veera Narayana Temple, Belavadi.
From there you can visit Chennakeshava Temple, Belur.

4. Chennakeshava Temple, Belur

Distance                  : 18 Kms (From Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu)
Duration of visit     : 1 Hour (If you love architecture, then 2 hours is needed)
Timings                   : 8AM to 5PM
Entry Fee                : No Entry fee

There will be a pooja around 7:00 PM. The city does not get dark even at 7:00 PM, so you can spend rest of the day in the temple, since its relaxing. Ensure to book stay in Belur, this will help you to reach hotel early.

  • Parking Space  : Yes. 
  • Drinking Water : No
  • Restrooms : No 
  • Restaurants And Hotels : Plenty of Shops. 

Day 2 : Travel to Chikmagalur
1. Yagachi Dam
Distance                  : 3 Kms(From Belur)
Duration of visit     : 10 Minutes.
Timings                   : 7AM–6:30PM
Entry Fee                : No Entry fee
Yagachi Dam

A reservoir which is located close to Belur. Since its on the way, you can just stop by and have a view of the dam for 10 minutes.

  • Parking Space  : Yes. 
  • Drinking Water : No
  • Restrooms : No
  • Restaurants And Hotels : No. 
2. Yagachi Water Adventure Sports Center

Distance                  : 5 Kms (From Yagachi Dam)
Duration of visit     : 2 Hours (If you want to have some water sports)
Timings                   : 7AM–6:30PM
Entry Fee                : Free.

Few rides likes Kayaking, Speed Boat Ride, Banana Boat, Bumper Ride are here and you can choose the rides by paying individually. The Location has a peculiar charm, spend some peaceful time sitting and admiring the nature and river charm. Lawns and sit out benches are available here.
Yagachi River..

You will get wet for sure, hence carry another pair of clothes. You have a decent place to change the dress.

  • Parking Space  : Yes. (Ample)
  • Drinking Water : No
  • Restrooms : Yes. (Separate room for Shower as well as Changing room)
  • Restaurants And Hotels : None. 
After spending time at Yagachi Water Adventure Sports Center, drive towards Chikmagalur.

Ensure to start towards Siri Cafe by 12:30 PM.

3. Siri cafe/Siri Coffee.

Distance                  : 30 Kms (45 Mins) (From Yagachi Water Adventure Sports Center)
Duration of visit     : 10 Mins (The time you wish to spend)
Timings                   : 8AM to 5PM
Entry Fee                : Free.

It is a private coffee shop and its on the way to Chickmaglur to Mullayanagiri/Baba Budan girl.

There is only one attraction here - The mother statue, representing the mother nature. It leaves us in admiration as it is gorgeously decorated with flower pots as ornaments. The elegance of pergola lends a sense of sumptuous feel. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available. Coffee was not great, but you can try. A nice place to spend some time. There is a small pond with ducks. Children play area is also available. A bit crowded.
Mother Statue

Sleeping Duck...

  • Parking Space  : Yes. 
  • Drinking Water : Yes
  • Restrooms : Yes 
  • Restaurants And Hotels : Siri Coffee itself is a Restaurant. 
Book a Hotel/Homestay in Chikmagalur. Check in to Hotel. Ensure to have lunch and packed snacks,fruits, water bottles as its extremely tough to find shops. Ensure to start by 2.00 Max. 

Second Option, you can check-in at night after exploring the below places.

4. Kavikal Gandi Viewpoint 

Distance                  : 12 Kms(30 Mins) (From Siri Cafe)
Duration of visit     : 20 Minutes.  (View Point) ((The time you wish to spend))
Timings                   : NA
Entry Fee                : No Entry Fee
Painting at the Kavikal View point
View Point from Kavikal..

This is on the way towards Baba Budan Giri. This has breathtaking aesthetic view points and bracing climate. Climb 50 steps to reach the top.

  • Parking Space  : No. (Bit difficult) 
  • Drinking Water : No
  • Restrooms : No 
  • Restaurants And Hotels : No

3. Honnamana halla Water Falls. 

Distance                  : 4 Kms(8 Mins)(From Kavikal Gandi Viewpoint)
Duration of visit     : 10 Mins(Dont spend more time here)
Timings                   : 8AM to 5PM
Entry Fee                : No Entry Fee

Nothing great about this place, but since its on the road, its a nice stop over place while you ride towards baba budengiri. Not a good place for bathing.

Dont miss to have Bajji and tea from shops nearby. Those small shops has loads of lip-smacking foodie. Hot bajjis on a cold weather...ummmm!!!

  • Parking Space  :No.  There's no a place for parking. You need to park on the road.
  • Drinking Water : No
  • Restrooms : No 
  • Restaurants And Hotels : Bajji, Bread Omelet and Tea Shops.
4. Guru Dattatreya Bababudanswaamy’s Darga

Distance                  : 8 kms (20 Mins) (From Honnamana halla Water Falls)
Duration of visit     : 20 Mins (Depends on the crowd)
Timings                   : 8AM to 5PM
Entry Fee                : No Entry Fee

Visit Sree Guru Dattatreya Baba Budan Swamy Durgah (temple and a durgah). Yes, I typed it right. Temple and Durgah. This is the place where it had dispute between Hindu and Muslims. Bababudangiri/Dattatreya Peeta - Hindus believe it is the final resting place of Lord Dattatreya where as Muslims believe it the place of Dada Hayat Mir Qualandar. Hence the Conflicts.
Milestone from Sree Guru Dattatreya Baba Budan Swamy Durgah

Its a cave where Baba Budan and his disciples are buried. It is also believed Baba Budan, who brought coffee to India had mediated in this place. The walk in a bent-over position inside the cave gives a different religious experience. Its a holy place for both Muslims and Hindus. The place is amazingly covered with mist.

There are 200 well built steps to reach the bottom of the cave.

The drive is quite Challenging.

  • Parking Space  : Yes. Ample parking place.
  • Drinking Water : No
  • Restrooms : Yes
  • Restaurants And Hotels : No

5. Baba Budan Giri Peak

Distance                  : 3 Kms from Guru Dattatreya Bababudanswaamy’s Darga
Duration of visit     : 1 Hour (View Point) (The time you wish to spend)
Timings                   : 8AM to 5PM
Entry Fee                : No Entry fee
Ridge Walk @ Baba Budan Girl

Road access is also available till Budangiri peak. If you are not comfortable with driving, you can take a jeep from Baba Budan Swamy Durgah. They have a to-fro package to Baba Budan Giri, Gallikere Pond and Maniykadhara falls.  If there is no time you can skip Manikyadhara Falls and return to homestay/Hotel. 

6. Manikyadhara Falls

Distance                  : 7 Kms from Baba Budan Giri Peak
Duration of visit     : 1 Hour (The time you wish to spend)
Timings                   : 8AM to 5PM
Entry Fee                : No Entry fee

Manikyadhara Falls
There are 250 well built steps to reach bottom of the falls from road. If you expect a waterfall similar to Kuttralam or Jog Falls, then you will be disappointed. To be candid, its just a sprinkle of water (form of small pearls)located at a very high altitude, but the falls has a resplendent view of the forest and chain of hills. Good place to take a bath. But if crowded, you might not get place to stand also. There is a room to change the cloths, but its not so good.

Medicinal plants, seeds & roots can be purchased here.

Remeber, the drive is extremely difficult(strenuous than Baba Budan drive) with lot of bad patches, slippery mud and steep dangerous cuts.

  • Parking Space  : Yes. 
  • Drinking Water : No
  • Restrooms : No
  • Restaurants And Hotels : Have few stalls. 
Return/Check in to Hotel. Book a Hotel/Homestay in Chikmagalur.

Day 3 : Chikmagalur and Return to Bangalore 

1. Mullayanagiri 

Distance                  : From your Resort
Duration of visit     : 1 Hour(The time you wish to spend)
Timings                   : 6 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee                : No Entry fee

Mullayanagiri and Seethalayanagiri is very close by.

Driving and Parking:

The drive is quite Challenging. It has steep cuts, drive only if you are comfortable.

2. Seethalayanagiri

Distance                  : 225 (From Bangalore)
Duration of visit     : 1 Hour(The time you wish to spend)
Timings                   : 6 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee                : No Entry fee

Most of the resort for a trekking to Mullayanagiri and Seethalayanagiri in the package. Please check with them.

Driving & Parking:
The drive is quite Challenging.

  • Parking Space  : Yes. 
  • Drinking Water : No
  • Restrooms : No
  • Restaurants And Hotels : No

3. Jhari Falls/Dabdabe Falls/Butter Milk Water Falls

Distance                  : 225 (From Bangalore)
Duration of visit     : 1 Hour(The time you wish to spend)
Timings                   : 6 AM to 5 PM
Entry Fee                : No Entry Ticket. 

One can take a jeep and drive down to the falls. The jeep cost Rs 600 for one trip. You have an option to trek to the falls as well.

  • Parking Space  : Yes. 
  • Drinking Water : No
  • Restrooms : Yes
  • Restaurants And Hotels : No

4. MG Park/Rathnagiri Bore (If time Permits)

Distance                  : 
Duration of visit     : 20 Mins (The time you wish to spend)
Timings                   : 8AM to 7:00 PM 
Entry Fee                : 10 Rupees. 

Play Area at MG Park

Dont miss to enjoy the scenery from the park Entrance. A beautiful view of 'Mullayanagiri' can be seen from the park entrance.

The experience of Toy Train is good. Even adults can take the toy train. Toy Train is 15 Rupees per person. They take you 2 round in the train and through a tunnel.

The park has a artificial cave and a good place for an evening walk. If you have buffer time, you can visit this place. Kids will have a good time here. It has some musical events. Check the timings while you purchase a ticket.
  • Parking Space  : Yes. (Ample)
  • Drinking Water : No
  • Restrooms : No
  • Restaurants And Hotels : No. Only Ice Creams are available. 
Return to Bangalore. 

Additional Points to Note:
  1. The scenery on both sides of the road has a unique beauty. Dont miss to admire throughout the Journey.
  2. Due to rain, sometimes the road towards Mullayanagiri, Seethalayanagiri and Baba Budan giri might be blocked. So, Prepared for it. 
  3. Drive towards Mullayanagiri, Seethalayanagiri and Baba Budan giri is extremely challenging. 
  4. Food might not be available everywhere. Plan a head before. 
  5. The above plan excluding Mullayanagiri and Seethalayanagiri is very much comfortable for a senior citizen parents as well as People with kids. 
  6. Drive through Hassan-periyapatna Road. Trees, hillocks and the scenery with crystal clear clouds on both sides of the road gives the drive a natural feel.
Start around 5:00 AM from Bangalore
  1. Explore Manjarabad Fort. Check-in to Belur hotel. 
  2. Kalyani Tank, Hulikere 
  3. Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu. 
  4. Veera Narayana Temple, Belavadi(Optional)
  5. Chennakeshava Temple, Belur
  1. Yagachi Dam
  2. Yagachi Water Adventure Sports Center
  3. Siri cafe/Siri Coffee.
  4. Kavikal Gandi Viewpoint 
  5. Honnamana halla Water Falls. 
  6. Guru Dattatreya Bababudanswaamy’s Darga
  7. Baba Budan Giri Peak
  8. Manikyadhara Falls
Check in to Chikmagalur Hotel.

Day 3:
Early check out
Hirekolale lake, 
Mullayanagiri (trekking)
Jhari Falls  (jeep drive) 

4:00 PM start back to Bangalore 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

"I am making memories, not assets", Says Shruthi BP

Travel is the best way to gain energy. It gives us meaning and inspiration to our life. Wilderness, Mountains, beaches, wildlife, isolated forest would give an unique experience which one cannot experience again.

Here is an inspiring interview from a Shruthi BP, who travels and lives according to the quote, "Get Back to What You Love". I’ve been surprised by the new places she explores every now and then. Let her interview be the power to inspire people. 

Welcome Shruthi!!

When did you start Trekking/Travelling?
I spent my 23 years in Chitradurga. My first step towards adventure was in 2010 after joining my first IT job at Cognizant. There was this group called Adventurizants and they were so passionately sharing about things they do in mailers. I couldn’t stop myself from taking that plunge and join them for a trek to Mullayangiri.

What was your inspiration to start trekking/travelling?

I was like a fish taken out of her comfortable aquarium and thrown into a rough sea when I moved to Bengaluru after spending 23 years with my family. Everything felt difficult – managing time, money, communicating in English, choice of clothes and even crossing roads. I realized there is so much more out there and I need to be strong. I am a movie buff - esp. Into the Wild & The Motorcycle Diaries were kinda inspiration to take a step ahead and explore life beyond education and job.

How do you manage time and money for travel?

I love my job. I have no interest in quitting everything, selling everything and head for travelling. My motto is simple, outta everything a part goes to savings and a part goes to travel fund, rest is for day-to-day expenses. During travel no luxury accommodations or fancy foods, I usually stick to basics. Above all its a conscious choice to spend money on passions and not to invest on gold, car, home loan or a car loan. Basically I am making memories, not assets.

Which is your memorable experience?

Himalayas Himalayas Himalayas - Forever & Always.

Did you ever face any pain points/bad experience?

Like everything in life, traveling also has both sides – the good and the bad. Some places you absolutely find no facilities, some places people aren’t helpful, some places are overrated, some places tend to be freaky expensive than you thought, and it goes on. But the whole point of travelling is not just about finding everything rosy, it’s about embracing everything and growing as a person.

Have you ever faced problem due to food? How to deal with food problem during travel?

I grew up in a typical south Indian household with rice, sambhar, idli, chapatti as my staple food. Now I definitely wouldn’t find similar things that taste equally similar in other parts of India or while travelling abroad. I carry ready-to-make soup, oats, upma etc. packets while travelling, so that after weeks if I feel like having some familiar taste, I cut open a packet. Plus every place will have its own version of street foods and variety of fruits/vegetables/bread etc. So it is not so difficult to manage food unless you aren’t expecting similar luxury you have at home. And if cost is not an issue, every big city has Indian Restaurants, but what’s the point of travelling if you can’t get out of your comfort zone?

What would be your advice for the people who has passion to explore places but not doing it due to reasons like fear, money, or family?

If you are afraid, start your first step with your best friends or cousins or even family. Don’t expect miracles from that travel, just go with the flow. Don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t go as planned. With time that fear will go away. Travelling is not just about spending lakhs and going to Rome or Paris. It is about starting with places around you. Trust me one will be surprised when one realizes they can go on treks/travel just with 200 INR a day and there are beautiful places worth exploring all around us. But if you are interested in international travel and long travels, then you need to make a choice. You cant get an apartment, car, luxury things and yet have time/money for travel.

What specific advice would you give for the ladies? What should be taken care by them?
  • Be aware of the local tradition and culture. And respect them.
  • Wear comfortable attire, ditch heels and other attire which hinders your movement.
  • Travel light and carry only those things which you can handle on your own.
  • Do not keep too much money on hand. Keep excess in your baggage.
  • Do not take anyone or anything for granted. Be cautious. Do not give personal information easily to anyone.
  • Be friendly but be guarded.
  • Generally places are safe, as long as you are street smart and not over confident, its gonna be just fine.

What’s your bucket list when you started trekking and what’s your bucket list now?

I had no list to start with, and now I still do not have a bucket list. I believe in doing things as and when possible. This keeps me happy.

Since you found your better half through travelling, any advice for woman who stopped travelling/trekking due to their husband or family?

Well yeah, we met on a trek, became best friends and then got married. We both have similar interests and respect our differences. My only priority was marrying the one who understands me and who I understand completely. If not for that, if I had to go by typical marriage norms, I would have gotten married like 5 years back. So for those who aren't married, the only thing I wanna say is the most important thing in marriage is understanding, if you don't have it, don't get married. For those who are already married or facing issues with family, sit with them, talk to them, tell them how you are feeling, and keep trying till they understand. There is a subtle difference between cribbing, arguing and expressing, you have to express.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Hello Techie.. Are you worried about layoff?

A few years before when I was with an organization, they announced that there would be layoffs. 90% of my batch mates were fired. They were too young to handle this termination. Layoffs are common when the market goes through a dark phase.

No one’s career journey is perfectly smooth. At some point, one must have faced either a lay-off, low-rating, delayed promotion or stagnancy in a role for several years. Always remember, a career path will always have lots of bumps in the road. One cannot expect their Career graph to have an increasing trend throughout. It will have ups and downs in a cyclical fashion. At some point, everyone feels they are struck.

Like up-skilling or re-skilling, we should learn to face these struggles with grace and resilience.  Cultivate a habit to accept the reality. Remind yourself that this is part of one's Journey and this situation is not a permanent one. It’s just a chapter along a journey. Always contribute your best effort and focus the learning and experience. This will help you to take your career to the next step.

Always remember:
  • Invest in your networks and your skills. You know that you’ll use them to make your next move. These actions will also make you better at your current job.
  • Avoid emotional pitfalls. Nothing in life is permanent, yet because you see your colleagues on a daily basis, it can be easy to think of them as a second family. However, work relationships should be only one of many sources of companionship.
  • Keep perspective. Your job is not the whole of who you are, nor does it determine whether you are successful in life. The happiest, most productive employees don’t rely exclusively on their jobs to give them purpose. They lead fulfilling lives outside work, too.